About Me...

My photo
Cincinnati, OH, United States
I'm a scientist , yogi, book worm, scifi junk, and I'm a little obsessed with my pup. My life is full of discovery both in the lab and out of the lab. This blog is my place to share my experiences as a person trying to stay happy and healthy in this crazy world.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Final days of the giving challenge reviewed...

I've completed the giving challenge and I've had some time to reflect upon all that I've learned.  I'll start with a summary of gifts for days 26-29
Day 26: Today I gave some time to myself in the form of a 50 minute yoga session.  I turned off my phone and the dog was fast asleep, so no interruptions.  It was a great time to just clear my head and re-center.

Day 27: I sent a thank you email to a friend who is always great to talk to and is very level headed.  She recently had an ADORABLE little baby and like everything else in her life is handling the new challenges with a grace.

Day 28: I gave a $10 donation to the Cincinnati library.  I'm constantly reading and I'm a very frequent patron of the library.  Our local branch of the library is cozy and I truly enjoy visiting......I usually stop in 2-3 times a week.  Also, the vast collection of audiobooks have helped me pass the day when I have repetitive protocols to do during an experiment.

Day 29: the final day....I gave a donation to the freestore food bank.  At the grocery store you pick out a prepacked bag of food and they scan the bag for donation.  Then, the bag goes into a bin and it's given to the food pantry.  This time of year giving food is more important than ever, the holidays aren't the same without a meal to share with the family.

What I've learned the past 29 days...
I've gained a giving perspective...meaning...during a normal day I'm looking for opportunities to give back to those around me.  It's important to remember that giving can be small and simple, but it still has an affect upon my state of mind.  I approach the day by asking "what can I give today?" which sets a positive tone over the whole day.  Also, my days have been more optimistic and more light hearted knowing that I'm giving back to human kind and the world, daily.

The past 29 days have made me more aware of my attitude and moods I'm projecting to those around me and how that may effect them.  The experience was eye opening and I would recommend it for everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wonderful snow...

Typically snow is dreaded, especially in Cincinnati.  The city goes into an overall panic at the threat of snow, but yesterday was different.  Although there were several people grumbling about the frozen precip it was very beautiful.  I walked outside at about 6:15 am taking little Phil for a walk (this was well before the wind picked up later in the day), and the snow was falling slowly in large flakes illuminated by only the street lights.  It felt like a movie scene, and I wish I could capture it.

The snow is gone today, but the chill remains.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giving days 20-25...

I'm nearly done with the giving challenge, and it's been quite a journey.  I'm very much more aware of my attitude toward activities and people in my life.  Here's the recap of what I gave for days 20-25

Day 20: coincided with my 28th birthday....there was a lot of receiving of birthday wishes from people that day.  I gave small things: a good attitude while in the lab, many thanks to friends, and I organized a trivia night for a group of my friends for us to have some fun together during the week! I also journaled about what I've accomplished in the last year, and I will share that at another time.  Listing my accomplishments for the year made me realize some things I wasn't able to achieve and things that I didn't originally plan but did achieve.

Day 21: Today I gave a soda to a coworker.  This was by accident since I bought a new one and she grabbed it off our table at work since we drink the same soda, but I figured since she was having a more frustrating morning than I was that I would let it go and she could have the extra bubbly caffeine.

Day 22: Thanksgiving day!  Jonah and I spent the day with my family and the pets.  To give I picked up my brother and gave him a ride to my mom and step-dad's home for dinner and some time together.  He has a tendency to frustrate me, but I decided to approach the situation differently and I enjoyed the day with him.

Day 23: I gave time to someone else.  I left work early to spend time with Jonah, and on the way home picked up some yummy dinner!  We spent our time together lazily.....watching football and lounging with the pup.  It was very relaxing.

Day 24: I gave money to the salvation army guy with the bell and bucket.  As I walked into the store he was standing by the door looking sad and cold, not ringing his bell.  So, on the way out I dropped in a donation and he perked up a bit.

Day 25: I realized at about 8pm on Day 25 that I hadn't actively thought about giving all day.  My day was consumed with running errands and going into the lab for a bit of time.  After feeling a bit bummed that I hadn't thought about giving, I decided to start gathering up old kitchen supplies that I have and no longer need or have replaced but not gotten rid of.  I packed a box for goodwill of extra plates, bowl, small appliances, and pots and pans.  Hopefully, these items will be given a good home where they will be used instead of sitting in the cupboard as extras.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving challenge days 13-19

Update on the 29 day giving challenge....

Day13- gave an extra long walk for my little pooch Philip.  He greatly appreciated the extra time outside exerting energy. 

Day14- A thank you card for a fellow graduate student who as been extremely helpful to me, and she is getting ready to graduate. She's a wonderful person and  I don't say thank you enough for all the advice she gives me.

Day15- On day 15 I didn't know what to give, but as I sat in nearly gridlocked traffic on the way home I realized what I could give.  Many of my fellow  motorists stuck in the traffic close to the shopping center in our area of town were getting very frustrated.  One lane of traffic was extra backed up since someone was trying to get over into another lane (the lane I was in) from that lane.  So, after about 5 cars went by them not letting them in I decided that's what I could give for the day.....some generosity in traffic.  

Day16- A box of delish pastries to our support staff for the Molecular and Developmental Biology program.  They both work so hard and make the lives of each and every graduate student  easier.  

Day17- Sometimes I can be a real brat, and usually I regret it immediately.   That's what happened on Day 17.  I was a brat to Jonah and just being quick tempered with him for no reason.  My gift to him that day was a sincere apology, and I stopped acting bratty.  

Day18- I wrote a letter to my best friend letting her know why I love her and admire her.  

Day19- Today I volunteered to teach a lab session, a gift to my advisor.  It's was a great opportunity for me to get some hands on teaching experience as well.   

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Challenge Day 8-12...

Day 8:  I gave a gift to myself this day, a new pair of ballet slippers.  I've recently rediscovered my love of ballet from my childhood, and been talking some adult beginner ballet classes through the Cincinnati ballet. After getting my slippers I strapped them on and practiced a few movements in my kitchen :)

My day 8 also coincided with Veteran's Day, so to my two uncles who were in the military I also told them happy veteran's day.

Day 9:  I gave the gift of presence. I've said it before....I have a crazy busy mind thinking this way and that all the time.  So, on day 9 I went to dinner with  Jonah and made an effort to be present..completely.  It's amazing how much both of us benefited from just me being present, and not thinking about the hundreds of things I need to do.

Day 10: I gave Jonah a hockey ticket.  We wanted to go see the Cincinnati Cyclones with friends, so I paid for tickets.  The game was exciting, although not too many fights, it went into overtime then shoot out.

Day 11: I gave an extra uninterrupted 10 minute back and belly run for little pup Philip.

Day 12: I gave a small donation to NPR (WVXU in Cincinnati).  This makes me sound like more of an adult than I'm usually willing to admit, but I love NPR.  Especially All Things Considered and Marketplace Money.  NPR in Cincinnati is ran almost entirely through donations, and is not affiliated with a University like many NPR stations.

The giving challenge is paying off.  As I previously mentioned, my outlook on life in general is improving. I'm also happier in general, that's not to say I don't get frustrated or upset still, but I'm able to calm myself more quickly or just brush off the smaller things I may have previously gotten upset over.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ode to my grandmother...

My grandmother has been gone for 6 years, and I still miss her dearly.  She was the person I went to with problems and she gave the BEST advice.  Patricia Ann Roseberry was the most generous, caring, humorous, and loving person I've ever met.  Today, the 6th anniversary of her passing, I dedicate to her memory.

When I was much younger my family lived in Tennessee, so we only saw my grandparents a couple times per year.  Every time they visited Grandma would tell me "Don't forget who I am."  I never forgot her and I never will.  She and I shared many adventures together including: garage sales at 8am on Saturday after a wonderful breakfast at cracker barrel (cherry pancakes), shopping, knitting, watching lifetime movies, and cooking.  Every aspect of my life is touched by a nugget of knowledge she shared with me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I love watching the sunrise while running in the morning.  It's the start of a new day full of potential.  Being a part of the breaking day carries it's properties over to me.....while running in the solidarity of the morning I can clear my head and get my thoughts together for the day.  There is so much I could accomplish.  I want to package this feeling  in the a little shiny box (with a cute bow) and keep it with me all day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving challenge day 6-7...

I'm continuing along with the giving challenge.  I have to admit that giving during the week is much more challenging than the weekends, mostly because the majority of my time is spent in the lab.

Day 6: I gave time to friends.  I had coffee and a chat in the afternoon, then in the evening I went to trivia with a group of friends.  (We won trivia that  night and got a $50 gift card, yay.  This was the first time we've won at trivia in the many months we've been going)
Day7: I gave a friend a ride home from dinner.  A group of us went to dollar burger night and offered a ride home to a friend who lives close to me.  Also, while we were at dollar burgers we had a server with the best mustache I've ever seen, which totally brightened my day!

As I've been going through this challenge I've been journaling my gift as well as what I'm grateful for that day (at least 3 things).  Day 6 and 7 had similar things I was grateful for: friends, food, and productivity at work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

29 day gift challenge days 1-5 summary...

I had mentioned in previous blogs that I was starting the 29 day gift challenge.  This challenge is based upon the book written by Cami Walker, 29 gift.  The premise is to give a gift no matter how small for 29 days while keeping a journal of your giving.  Optimally giving should not be out of obligation but out of a spirit of generosity and caring.  Also, if you skip a day you are supposed to start over.

Days 1-5: Gifts given
Day1: hot chocolate for a coworker having a bad day
Day2: kindly held the elevator for someone who was down the hall quite a way, and made small talk while in the elevator.
Day3: gave bag of cookies to a homeless mother
Day4: gave muffins to a friend who was taking a trip for work
Day5: Left a fun children's book (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) on a bus stop bench with a note for someone to take the book read it and pass it along.

Although, giving is gratifying alone there are other benefits from this  challenge that I've noticed.  The main difference I've noticed is that my days are more optimistic.  Graduate school has a tendency to drag away your optimism, especially when research success rates are so low (10% is good).  Waking up and trying to be conscious of living in a manner that is conducive for giving has allowed me to be kinder to people, and regain some personal attributes I thought were gone.

As I get busier the challenge is becoming harder.  Let's see what else I can give and what will happen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Restorative weekend

This weekend was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle.  I allowed myself to sleep more and relax.  On Saturday I went for a nice run, many of the runners were very friendly which I think is because the humidity is gone so everyone enjoys it much more.  After running I went to an adult ballet class with a friend.  It's been almost 17 years since I've had a ballet class, and this class marketed as beginners was more like intermediate.  It was fun and we are trying another class, this one more basic, in a week and a half.  Following ballet we got mochas at coffee emporium (YUM).  The rest of my weekend was not nearly as eventful.....I relaxed and caught up on some episodes of lie to me, ran errands, went to the library, read, walked the pup, and cleaned my apartment.  Phil and I did stop at hyde bark pet shop for a treat, carob cupcake for him, on our walk.

As I mentioned in my last post I've been thinking a lot about the 29 day gift challenge.  I started it last week, and I've been journaling my progress.  I'm going to add updates along the way about the challenge here on my blog.  I'll let you guys know what the gift I gave for the day was and my thoughts on the process.  As a sneak peak I'll let you all know that the mindset that this challenge brings along with it has restored some of my optimism.  Happy Monday and let's let the feeling of relaxation from the weekend carry over into the week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love reading....

I don't know if you all know this about me, but I love reading.  Big surprise? Well recently I started a new book that is very inspiring, 29 gifts.  I highly recommend it.  I'm only about half way through, but I'm already considering trying the 29 gift challenge.  The book chronicles the story of Cami Walker, her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis, and how she used the 29 day gift challenge to change her outlook through giving and receiving daily.  A movement has been started by Cami where people can  blog their own 29 day challenge.  Check out the 29 gift website.  I wanted to share with powerful story with everyone even though I'm not completely finished with the book.  I'll make sure to let everyone know when I start my challenge.....and how it's going.  

Other books I'm reading:  Mastering Relationships and Do androids dream of electric sheep? both of which I'm just starting.  

I recently finished: Coming back stronger (by Drew Brees), Death Qualified, and Mockingjay (the third and final book of the hunger games trilogy).  

If you have some additional recommendations let me know.  I'm always reading something and trying to learn or escape into a great story.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day...

It's November 2nd, the first Tuesday of November which means....election day.  Make sure you get out and do your civic duty today!  I'm planning on making a nice mug of coffee on my Keurig (thanks Jonah) and going to the poling station down the street before I head into the lab.   The race for senator and Governor in Ohio have been intense, with an onslaught of commercials smearing one another.  This year the midterm elections seem nearly as advertised as the presidential elections.

Getting out and voting allows me to have a say, at least partially, in what is going on in our government.  The state of our nation is unsettled and we all need to let those in office know how we feel!

I'm looking forward to casting my vote.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tornado Tuesday in Cincinnati...

Today at Cincinnati Children's we had a Code Grey! Code Grey is a tornado warning, and all employees and staff have to go into the basement.  So, I spent a good 15 minutes in the basement of the research building board and without my cell phone.  Since when did I become so addicted to my iPhone.  It was grueling because I wanted to know what was being posted about the weather, I've become a glutton for instant information.

Tornado adverted and all are safe.  I just hope little Philip is alright at home (he gets a bit of anxiety with thunder).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Great weekend...

This past weekend was tour de Kentucky and loads of fun!  I headed to Lexington to spend the weekend with Jonah.  On Saturday after getting in a decent run we headed off for our first live horse racing experience at Keeneland.  People were tailgating and dressed from casual to formal.  We were able to watch several races and bet on one.  Although I chalk it up to beginner's luck we won $5 (we didn't bet all that much) and picked the winning horse!  GO US!  After having a great time watching horses we headed to Shelbyville, KY to watch Noremac play at a block party!  Noremac rocked the block and were the best band of the evening!!!  If you haven't heard noremac here's a link.  Mo's husband is the drummer :)  The show was made even better by the presence of lots of friends we don't see that often.  We stayed in Shelbyville that night and the next morning I took my first trip to Waffle house for breakfast with friends.  The summary of this weekend......lots of great friends, good food, and fun new experiences.

Lots of work to do this week, the memories from the weekend will keep me going!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicago Marathon 10.10.10 in review...

Last Sunday was the day to put my months of training to the test......race day.  This year's Chicago Marathon was on 10.10.10, who could have picked a more perfect date?  We arrived in Chicago on Saturday afternoon and headed to the race expo.  The anxiety I've been experiencing for this race is no secret, however, as I was standing outside the expo waiting to meet up with Mo I realized that I was no longer anxious but extremely excited.  There was a confidence knowing that I trained hard and I was physically ready for this challenge.  The night before the race we laid out all of our gear for the next day and went to bed early for a good nights sleep.

The morning of the race I got up, got ready, and caught the bus to Millenium Park.  We hit a hiccup when we got to the bus when we found out that we wouldn't get change for the bus fare.....so we would have ended up overpaying by about $16.  Luckily, there were some very generous runners who had an extra bus pass that we got to use!

The race started at about 75F, a bit warm for a marathon!  The first 16 miles felt great and a bit warm.  Then we hit a stretch of road that was in the direct sun....and a bank thermometer read 98F in the sun by the asphalt.  I had salt caked on myself and started to feel sick to my stomach making it hard to take in any gels, water, or gatorade.  After run-walking the last 8 miles or so I ended up finishing and finding my way to the runners reunite area to meet up with Jonah and some of our friends.  I was so thankful to be done...I have to admit it was the hardest thing I've ever done!  The alert system for the marathon went from green in the morning to red by the time I started run-walking.  Red alert is just below the black alert when the race is  shut down due to extreme conditions.  Although it took me about 5:27 (nearly an hour slower than the last marathon I did) to finish there were still TONS of people finishing at the same time and after me.  Approximately, half of the field finished after me.  Insane!  I decided I needed to run another marathon in the next year so this experience isn't the last memory of a marathon.

On the bright side....boystown was the most exciting and motivating area of town.  If the whole marathon was that energetic it would have been amazing!

I'm glad I experienced this type of race and I'm slowly recovering this week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

4 days til the race...

Today is supposed to be a rest day...but....I took the pup on a 45 min walk and did yoga.  That counts as resting right?  Well I'm still nervous about this weekend, but after yoga and lots of stretching the last two days my sore muscles are virtually no more.  I think my dog is enjoying the tapering period since he gets many more walks and a bit more attention.

In the spirit of relaxing I'm going to a new restaurant with friends tonight, poco a poco, and it's a tapas style latin place.  I'm hoping the food is good, but if it's not I still get to spend some time with friends before I head home to begin packing for the weekend.  (I have to start early or I'll forget something.)  I'm also considering revamping my playlist for the marathon and adding a few new songs!  This is going to be a great weekend!!

I need to through out a big GOOD LUCK to the Cincinnati Reds, they are playing their first playoff game since 1990!  The city is a buzz of excitement.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Totally started to freak yesterday...

Yesterday I realized that it's was exactly one week until I run the Chicago marathon.  Up until this point I've been excited and I felt relatively ready since I had completed the training.  Yesterday as Jonah and I were running errands I began to get the dreaded tapering blues.  There was a mini freak out when I starting thinking about all the bad things that could happen.  This morning I got up and did a short run, but I'm still feeling nervous.  Let's help that watching spirit of the marathon tonight will help get me excited and less nervous about Sunday 10.10.10.  Only 6 days until the race!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finally fall

The first few days of fall were scorchers with highs in and around the 90F mark.  But finally fall has made it's fashionably late appearance this past week, and we enjoyed a full weeks worth of amazing fall weather.  There's a smell that comes along with fall, and I love it.  The mornings are cool and crisp while the afternoons are sunny and mild.  It's perfect weather to be outside and to snuggle up with a cup of tea and read in the late evening.  

Last weekend I ventured out of Cincinnati and to Rouster's apple orchard.  I picked up some delicious honeycrisp apples, cider and applebutter (all true signs of fall's arrival).  Can you tell that I love fall?  

Fall also makes me want to get out and run.  It's like it activates the running gene.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with the low humidity and cool temps.  So, as we're approaching Chicago marathon 10.10.10 my nerves are a little soothed by the excitement of fall.  However, I'm still super nervous and anxious about the marathon and everything turning out alright.  

It's be best time of the year!  So, get outside to enjoy the wonderful weather and have something pumpkin and/or cinnamon flavored!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

20 miler #2 in review

Last weekend I did my 2nd and final 20 mile run for marathon training.  It also happened to be my last really long run before the race which is now just over 2 weeks away!  Like usual for this run I got an early start after some coffee and oatmeal.  Some stretching and heating pad on my hip helped to nicely warm it up.  I was hesitant when I headed out and very restrictive with speed.  After about 5-6 miles I was fully warmed up and my hip felt like normal for the rest of the run, which felt mostly like smooth sailing.

It seems like the universe gives you encouragement when you really need it.  Near about mile 17 or 17.5 my stomach started getting a bit upset.  This was due to the cliff fruit twist I had consumed earlier during the run.  Little did I realize that this fruity chewy twist treat was loaded with fiber since it is made out of the whole fruit.  As I was starting to regret eating it and mentally kick myself all the while physically struggling, I see a familiar face.  It's an older gentleman who has to be at least 80 maybe older out watering his flowers with a jug and his cane.  His face lights up as I approach his yard and a grin spreads across his face.  Just as I get right in front of him, he raises his cane and yells "Great day for a run isn't it!"  He totally brightened my day and the last few miles.  This isn't the first time I've seen him.  During the first 20 miler several weeks ago he was in his yard with the jug and cane again and yelled "Keep it up!"  I have no clue who this wonderful gentleman is, and I've never seem him outside any other time.  (I  run the course that goes by his house at least 3 times a week)  Anyway, he was very encouraging and it instantly cheered me up!

After the 20 miler we headed to Oktoberfest and walked around the rest of the day.  I didn't feel too sore until Sunday, but overall it wasn't that bad.  It made me feel more prepared and confident for the actual race.  I have to admit that I'm ready for the race to get here already......I just want to run not on a schedule for a while.

I'm ready to taper and take on 26.2 on 10.10.10 in Chicago!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oktoberfest recap!

Last weekend Jonah and I attended the largest Oktoberfest in the US!  (That's right....it's here in Cincinnati, OH!)  Early on Saturday afternoon we headed downtown for lunch (brats) and a sampling of german beer. Of course, you can't forget the best part of the whole festival.....cream puffs with bavarian cream.  After eating lunch we wondered around the whole festival and enjoyed a smattering of polka music.  This year Cincinnati Oktoberfest unveiled a new event.....a brat eating contest.  Around 3pm most of us attending ventured to the tent where the contest was to be held to watch about 9 people take on this task.  The brats were sans buns.  There were several famous eaters there that I recognized from watching the Nathan's hot dog eating contest on July 4 including the famous champ Joey Chestnut!
This is the field of eaters for the brat eating contest
Joey and the 2nd place eater  
Mr. Chestnut claimed the crown as 
 the best brat eater in 10 minutes....
           He shattered the record by eating 42 brats!
Jonah's toe was demolished by a large man stepping on him :( 

Unfortunately, we had a small situation while
waiting in line for some famous german beer...

Overall, Oktoberfest was fun and exciting.....it got super crowded in the evening so I'm very glad we went early!  Maybe next year we'll enter philip in the wiener dog race on Friday before the festival.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

my last week or so in a word....uugghh

So....it's been over a week since I've blogged.  Life has been thoroughly overwhelming and frustrating at the same time leading me to say ...uugghh...many times and heavy sighing.  (At least I'm trying to breathe deeply)  Quickly here's some of the issues and some small things I've started to do to help with the situations....

A) Running has been less than enjoyable due to my sore hip a) Indulged in a deep tissue massage focusing on my hips, quads, and hamstrings.  This has helped a bit.  I must also mention that I tripped and fell last week before I decided to get a massage and tweaked the hip-age area and did a good job of scraping up my knee.  Yes, I was THAT person running/walking back home with an unhappy expression and blood running down my leg.  Short-Long run on Sat. was also less than enjoyable.  **However, this week stretching, icing, Aleve, and homeopathic meds have been doing a wonderful job**

B) Science......oh science....what can I say about you...  Well, experiments that usually work without fail are being pesky and not working, thus setting back my research a few more weeks.  Additionally, I think my advisor may think I'm not working as hard on it as I should.  (I am...but sometimes cloning doesn't work....I followed the protocol, and it worked last time!) b) I'm starting some experiments over from the beginning, and trying to remind myself that I'm my screwing it up....I have the lab data sheets showing that I did it correctly and it still didn't work.....3 times.

C) Life in general.....aahhh.  Sometimes it feels like every hour of everyday is full of something and I run out of time to clean, hang with the dog, or just sit and relax for a few.....or even blog.  c) I took Philip to doggie daycare yesterday so he will be tired today so I can give a good once over to my apartment.  It feels so much better when everything is nice, clean, and in it's place.

Thanks for reading my vent.  It was quite therapeutic to get it all out there.  I've been mentally preparing myself for the coming weekends big events.....another 20 mile run...and Cincinnati Oktoberfest!!!!  I'm sure they will both be great outlets for my frustrations!

Monday, September 6, 2010

20 miler

Saturday I did the weekly long run of.....20 miles.  It was a pretty intense run.  I got up had some coffee and an english muffin with an egg on it.  I headed out at about 6:45 into super nice weather and took a fairly slow pace.  My hip has still been a bit tight so before heading out I applied some heat to my hip and did some extra stretching.  It took about 4 miles until I felt all the way warmed up.  Honestly, during the run I didn't feel that bad.  To pass the time while running I gave myself checkpoints that I had to go to.  Here's how it worked:  I gave myself permission to walk, but I had to wait to evaluate how I felt at specific checkpoints that were every several miles.  It helped to visualize the course only to the next checkpoint instead of miles.  I tried some new fuel this week while running.  I tried some cliff shot blocks and powerbar energy chews.  Both products worked out pretty well, and I didn't have any stomach issues with them.

After arriving home I was stretching and when I took my shoes and socks off I got a huge shock.....my big toe was covered in a blister.  I had no idea that I was getting a blister at all.  Then, I hopped into the ice bath with extra ice since it was an extra long run.

Luckily, this week is a three day weekend and I have an extra day to take it easy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some other fun-in-review from Hawaii...

This year we visited a few new more local places in addition to all the touristy places we went last year.  For lunch one day we ventured to the Health Bar and enjoyed an acai bowl.  It was incredibly yummy and the store was decorated in local artist photographs and some photos of the owners surfing dogs.  The other place that really stands out was Bubbies homemade ice cream and mochi!   We got some ice cream while at the store, I had chocolate hazelnut (YUM), and we took a sampling of mochi home to eat during the following days.  The ice cream was rich and delish, and the mochi was better than any mochi I've had before!  The weather in Cincinnati today (92F and not really a breeze outside) is making me long for Hawaii and the cool breeze off the ocean.

woof...18 miles

On Saturday I got up at about 5:30 am, consumed some coffee and an egg/english muffin, and prepared for the weekly long run.  It's been a few weeks since my 16 mile run, and since my hip was bothering me while we were on vacation I ran no further than 5 miles while in Hawaii.  Since returning home my hip has improved quite a bit, and it's now feeling mostly better thanks to icing and lots of stretching.  So, back to Saturday.... I headed out at about 7 am into the rice cool weather about 50-ishF, super nice.  I trucked along up and down the hills of Cincinnati, stopped to refill my water bottles about 3 times, jamming out to some good tunes, and before I knew it the run was over.

I took an ice bath following the run, but I ended up still being SUPER sore on Sunday and still today.  I think helping Jonah move added to the soreness a bit as well.  Only a few more long runs and a bit over 5 weeks until Chicago.  I'm feeling less nervous about the race since I ran the 18 miles this weekend.   I have to admit that I was very slow this weekend (about 3:10), and cautious about not over exerting myself.

First 18 mile run done and scheduled to do 20 miles next weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm back to reality...

This is my first week back from vacation.  Luckily, it's a short week since we flew in on Monday so work from Tues-Friday.  Although it's a shorter week there are still TONS to do.
1. General research-lots of experiments
2. Prepare a presentation about my research for Friday
3. Get organized and adjusted to real life (vacay involved relaxing and sleeping, my real life not so much)
4. Prepare for Jonah's big move to Lexington
I keep thinking about Hawaii and all the fun we had.  We went on a tour of the island by road, lanikai beach, polynesian cultural center for a luau, lots of walking along waikiki, and lots of great food and time with family!
I'm totally behind on posting pics and more stories....I'm going to get to them hopefully soon..like in the next week!
Happy Friday eve everyone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hooray for vacation...

What a relaxing/tiring few days.  I know, I know, relaxing/tiring are two opposing feelings, but that's how I feel on vacation.  I'm so excited to spend time with family and to get more time during the day to relax, but we are also doing some fun activities during the day (shopping, luau, polynesian culturual center) that just plain wear me out.  Just a few days in and I already feel refreshed...running along the ocean has also contributed to this feeling. 

I'll put up a post about all the vacation activities when I return from beautiful Honolulu!

Monday, August 9, 2010

16 miler...sans humidity...finally!

This weekend for marathon training I ran 16 miles!  I was very very fortunate and there was a break in the humidity that has plagued this area lately.  I slathered on some SPF 50 and started out at about 6:30-ish on a cool comfortable morning.  The temperature was amazing, probably close to 65F.

The run was going great until about mile 12-13, and I began feeling dehydrated, and I was almost out of water in the hydration belt bottles.  So, I found a local playground to refill the bottles and get some hydration which was very refreshing and I felt fine the rest of the run.

Around mile 15 a random person starting running with me and kept me company for about a 1/2 mile.  I do so much running alone that it's easy to forget how quickly time flies when you have someone to chat with when you are running.  As much as I cherish the alone time while running, there are times I wish I had a local running buddy so we could help each other out during the tough times.  I can't wait to do a long training run with Morgan to get us ready for Chicago!!!  It'll be like a mini-preview of the race.

Lately my hip has been bothering me a little bit.  Stretching and icing has been helping it from getting any worse, however, it's still tight when heading out on a run and it takes a mile or two to warm up.  This is def. a case of soreness and not injury.

This week my long run is going to have to be on Wed. and I'm going to attempt to repeat the 16 miler, but the humidity is supposed to return!

Happy running!

Whoa, what a week...

This past week was crazy busy and fun at the same time.  Here's a quick run down....

-Monday-Jonah arrived to hang with me for the next month or so.  We also went and ran errands about town together.
-Tuesday-Trivia night with friends....I still think we got the last question right even though the official trivia judge said we didn't.  (We were 11 out of 14 teams, at least that's not last!!)
-Wednesday-Burgers and drinks to celebrate a friend's bday!!! (It was a blast, and we ended the night with some swimming)
-Thursday-Work picnic to celebrate my advisor's 15 year anniversary at Cincinnati Children's Hospital!
-Friday-More fun at Fries with friends to do more celebrating the same bday from Wed., and the going away of another friend for med school!
-Saturday- Decent 16 mile run for marathon training!  (woohoo) Zoo picnic for work! All the animals were out and about.  We walked around for hours and had a blast! (of course we also got a funnel cake, YUM)
-Sunday-Family reunion then dinner with friends in Muncie!

It was so wonderful to see friends and family this past week and spend time catching up with everyone.  This week isn't looking like it will have as many events, but vacation is coming up. I'm def. looking forward to a few days on the beach relaxing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One tasty burger...

Last night to celebrate a friend being alive for a quarter century we went to dinner at an infamous place in Cincinnati....Terry's Turf Club.  This diner has been featured on TV shows and in magazines as having the best hamburger in Ohio.  When we arrived I was delighted to see TONS of neon lights.  It's like someone tooks all the neon lights/signs from a whole strip of restaurants and put them into one!  The only downside was that we had quite a long wait (about 45 min to an hour), but we had fans and some nice cold beer to keep us company while we waited making the time pass quickly.

The menu had options for all kinds of fun sauces for burgers.  One had truffles, portabello mushrooms, and brandywine.  I got my burger with a goat cheese and roasted red pepper sauce, and it was amazing.  Jonah told the waitress to surprise him and ended up with a huge burger filled to the brim with topping including a peanut sauce.  I enjoy a burger now and them, but this burger was AMAZING!  no joke.

It was a great fun night with friends, amazing food, and lots of fun/random conversation.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How to be alone vid...

This was posted on facebook by one of my sorority sisters from long ago....I wanted to post it since it holds so much truth, and it's just wonderful.

Check out more about this artist:
Tanya Davis

I have a love-hate relationship with change...

This photo is from design inspiration

The title of this post says a lot about me.  I'm always excited for change and doing things differently, however, once they start happening I have crazy anxiety....and maybe a little freak out.  Case in point...this past week Jonah moved his stuff to my apartment before he moves to his new place.  The whole moving his stuff in process started to give me anxiety when we were about halfway through.  Seeing the shear quantity of stuff, and knowing that this is going to change my day to day living in my apartment switched the event from being happy and fun to the opposite.  Then, the following day he rearranged some of my things while I was at work, and I have to admit that I had a bit of a melt down.  I like my routine and my things to be just the way I like them.  A lot of consideration and thinking goes into the placement of something in the apartment.  

All of this anxiety and melt downs are totally unwarranted and are over things that when are though about in my head I'm super excited about.  Why wouldn't I want my fiance around for about a month before he starts his job an hour away?  I'm just not good at change, and there are a lot of changes coming up in the next year of my life (moving, wedding, etc).   Moving to Cincinnati a few years ago was a huge change and challenge, and I learned to enjoy aloneness, time to relearn what it's like to have someone else around all the time again.  As a 27 (nearly 28 year old...yikes) I would know how to deal with it so, it's time to give myself a pep talk and learn to deal with things not being my way (I may have to deal with some selfishness issues too :( ) 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekend trip...

This past weekend we trekked to the great white north...Canada...for the wedding of two of our wonderful friends!  (FYI, Jonah and I may have had a hand in setting them up.)

We split the drive up in two days, we stopped by Detroit then headed on.  I'm always amazed at how beautiful it is in Canada.  The friends we stayed with live within walking distance of a bike/running path that runs along Lake Ontario.  I had the opportunity to run along this path, and there were quite a few people out in the morning walking, running, and biking.  I also did a bit of shopping at Lululemon and got a super cute outfit for the Chicago Marathon!!

The wedding was held on Lake Ontario (pic on the top right) in the afternoon, and during the reception we were able to watch the sun setting over the lake (pic on the bottom right).

On the way home we swung by Niagara falls on the Canadian side.  The falls were beautiful (we didn't stop and stay long since parking was $20, ouch!)

It was a great trip (even though Jonah didn't get to eat at Swiss Chalet) and we got to see so many friends and make new ones!

Marathon update:
I've been traveling a lot of weekend, so my long run schedule has been a bit erratic.  Before we went to Canada I did a 14 miler that was....alright.  It was way too humid and way too hot, so I ended up walking about 1/4 mile to go up one of the hills.  I have a few more trips this summer, so I'm going to have to be creative with me running schedule.  Before our vacation I'm supposed to do an 18 miler, guess we'll see when I can squeeze that one in.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

whirlwind of life...

What a whirlwind of a weekend and another one is on the horizon.  Last weekend Jonah and I traveled to Lafayette, IN (about 3 hours from Cincinnati) for my step-brother's wedding.  It was beautiful!

Then on Sunday I drove to a small town near Louisville (about 4 hours from Lafayette) for my dear friend's baby shower (cake pictured on left). Then Philip and I headed back to Cincy (about 2 more hours).  I think my dog is one of the few dogs that likes being in the car for that many hours.  It was a lot of driving, but totally worth it to see friends and celebrate the changes in their lives!!!

The whirlwind isn't done....this coming weekend more friends are getting married...in Hamilton, Ontario.  So watch out Canada here we come (except philip...no international travel for that pup)!  This will be a weekend of reconnecting with friends who have moved all over the nation!

To make it even more fun, I'm going to get my hair done tonight! woohoo new hair cut and color!

Friday, July 16, 2010

More running gear awesomeness and week review...

Running gear...
I got a RoadID and it's awesome!  I highly recommend one for anyone who is hiking, biking, walking, or running.  I went for the original wrist band in pink (of course) with all my important information, emergency contact, and allergies.  I feel much safer when I run with it, since drivers in Cincinnati are not the most courteous to runners.  There have been several times where I've nearly been hit by a car, and afterwards I thought....How would anyone know who I am? Know who to call? The only disadvantage for the wrist band is that it adds to the tan line that I'm developing at my wrist from my watch as well.  (I have to let my vanity go for the sake of safety.)

Week review...
This week has seemed exceptionally long, probably because last week was a short week.  But, I've made it through and it's almost the weekend.  
This week I've accomplished:
  • Stuck to my running schedule (mostly, my long run was moved to today to accommodate this coming weekend's general busyness) 
    • Also, 12 miler this morning went well even though it was about 75F outside when I started.  The hydration belt works wonders!
    • I eat oatmeal before long runs and this week the addition to make it more fun was....frozen strawberries (they heated up as the oatmeal was cooked) and a tablespoon or so of local honey!
  • Took a new direction with my research that I've been thinking about and planning for the last few weeks.  (I was worried that my PI wouldn't like the idea, but thankfully she did. It may lead to a great collaboration with another lab.)
  • Finally saw Eclipse, and enjoyed it.  (It took going to the theater several times to see it, the first time the projector broke) 
This weekend I get to share in 2 joys with family and friends. 1.  My step-brother is getting married and 2. one of my close friends is having a baby shower!  It looks like an exciting weekend with friends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Sometimes you realize that your personality flaws are bigger than you first thought.  They start to hurt those you love and distance them.  I've realized one of my flaws this past week, and it was not a fun surprise.  It's a reminder that as much as I'm working on making myself a better person......I am really far from being a completed work.  That being said, I think being aware of a flaw can make it more easily remedied.  Time to grab some tools and work on  myself!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Late 4th of July recap...

4th of July was a welcome 3 day weekend spent with friends and loved ones.  Jonah and I went to a friends surprise 30th birthday party (big milestone), got to visit with my bff, her husband, and doggie, did lots of sleeping, cooking, and relaxing.

A sampling of our culinary adventure for the weekend is pictured on the left.  On the 4th we made kabobs with sesame-ginger marinated chicken, zucchini, green peppers, eggplant, baby bella mushrooms, and one with jalapenos (for Jonah of course).  We grilled them on the grilla skillet (one of my best purchases from ikea) since I don't have a grill due to lack of outdoor space.  

For the surprise party we attended I tried baking something completely different (for me at least), shortcake.  I made shortcake from a recipe on the back of my baking mix box.  So, it had a thin layer of shortcake-whipped cream-layer of shortcake-whipped cream-strawberries and blueberries arranged like an american flag.  Unfortunately, I didn't get pics of it before we ate it but it was yummy.

Philip was the embodiment of relaxed for most of the weekend.  Playing with my bff's dog totally wore him out.  

A wonderfully relaxing 3 day weekend makes the week go by quickly, tomorrow is already Friday!

Hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recipe for a good long run...

I was pretty much not looking forward to the 10 mile run I needed to do this past Sat. for marathon training, but I got up early to beat the heat to give it a go.  I got about 3 miles into the run and realized that I felt pretty good and took the pace up a bit.  I ended up finishing the 10 miles in about 2 minutes faster than usual.  Here is my recipe for the run:

8h-Good nights sleep
1 bowl-oatmeal with banana (very ripe...like ready for banana bread ripe) and frozen sweet cherries
1 cup-cinnamon coffee
1-new nathan hydration belt filled with H20.  (2 small bottles)

I think having the new hydration belt was a huge plus, since it was SOOO hot this weekend.  Also, getting new gear is always super fun.

I last blogged about dead legs....they didn't affect me on this run!  yay!

Friday, July 2, 2010

running with dead legs....

This week running has been more of a challenge than usual.  My legs have felt SOOOO heavy.  I'm blaming it on all the lower body resistance exercises that I did last Sunday and again on Tuesday of this week.  Today especially it was like running through mud, but I dredged through it.  I'll relax the rest of the day, and hope the long run tomorrow goes well.

I've just started reading the book Once a runner, by John L. Parker, Jr., and fictional story about distance runners.  One of the "master's/track club runners" has a program that always gives the young guys dead legs when they try to keep up with his mileage for a week. So, I'm hoping I'll have a great pay off by running through these dead legs this week....I'll try to stay optimistic.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows'

Yay, how exciting!

A small moment of tranquility...

Yesterday was Monday, and Monday's are always busy and I feel like I'm constantly rushing around and yesterday was no different.  After a wonderful dinner (Gnocchi with veggies in marinara sauce and blueberry/feta spring mix salad) I took little Phil for a much needed walk.  I put in my headphones and while listening to a podcast we quickly walked to the library.

After leaving the library I forgot to restart my IPod and walked through the residential streets and something hit me.  Peaceful quietness...  I could hear the birds chirping and kids playing a street over, but it was generally quiet and tranquil.  I didn't listen to my IPod the rest of the way home, but enjoyed the quiet and it helped relax and refresh me. It really changed the whole mood for the rest of the evening!  

It's easy to get used to the constant noise of busy cars and hustle and bustle, however, when it's gone everything seems tranquil and calm.  I think it was life's way of reminding me yesterday that my goal is to slow down and enjoy life more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pic from hooray Jonah celebration...

 The gang + dogs from Wed. night celebration!  Thanks for the Pic Jim!  (Little Philip's eyes are glowing like an evil dog....but I promise he's not! And check out the defiance of gravity that Steve is pulling (sideways guy in the back))

From Mr. to Dr.

Wednesday 6.23.10 marks a very important day.....the day a committee of very intelligent people decided to give Jonah, my fiance´ (pictured on the top left) a doctorate of philosophy in human bioenergetics (he's getting some serious energetics from that apple fritter in the pic).

After many many months of very hard work and stress it's official and everyone who knows him is SO PROUD of him.  On Wed. we had a little soiree, hosted by our amazing friends Jim and Abby, with lots of delicious food and company.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pics but it was a blast.
This weekend was the first time in quite a while we've been able to spend time together stress free!!!  Hooray!

So, CONGRATS JONAH!!!! You're awesome!

Monday, June 21, 2010

First day of summer....

Happy first day of summer.  Today June 21, 2010 is the summer solstice and the day of the year with the most daylight hours!  Today lends itself well to doing a quarterly assessment of life and goals.  In January my goals for this year were:

Home related goals:
  • Better organize my apartment!!
    • Summer update: it's still a work in progress, but I've gotten rid of many no longer needed things which were donated to goodwill.  I think I had about 4-5 bags of things. 
  • Run a marathon...
    • Summer update: in progress....
  • Relax more and reduce day to day stress.
    • Summer update: this is going to be ongoing forever, but I've gotten better at educating myself about things I can do to relax and modifying situations so I don't experience the same level of high stress.  
Work related goals:
  • Publish my first paper from the Yutzey lab this year.  
    • Summer update: It will be sometime this year, I feel a bit behind since I thought I would have my experiments completed by now.  Goal date is this fall to have it all done (Sept?)
  • Have a clear idea of what the next step is for my Ph.D. project. 
    • Summer update: in progress... the pic is getting more clear but still a little muddy.  
I'm ready to take advantage of the summer and get motivated to obtain my goals, and taking some needed rejuvenation time with a vacation.  However, we haven't decided what to do for a vacay yet.....

Anyway, happy first day of summer! 

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    Running running...

    This morning I did a long run as part of the official training schedule available from the Chicago marathon website.  The humidity and heat and still here in Cincinnati, but training early in the morning has allowed me to at least dodge the bulk of the heat so far.  I came into training with a strong milage base build up so I'm feeling confident and I'll been able to stick with my plan so far....extra stretching and yoga to help keep my back healthy this time.

    Running in Cincinnati is usually fun.  There are many runners in this area of town, and I'm able to see most of them in the mornings while running.  Also, at times running in Cincinnati is random.  For instance, this morning I saw a truck top half sparkly orange and the bottom half sparkly blue.  In addition to the interesting paint job there were 3 standard rims and 1 rim was a spinner.  Now you may be picturing a regular spinner, but oh no this one was extra special....a dollar sign! I literally laughed out loud.  I also got passed by some super speedy male runners.....and one had a lower back tattoo.....well he actually had two.

    Thank you Cincinnati for keeping life interesting while running!

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    happy Friday morning...

    You know how when you use brown sugar there are sometimes small clumps of sugar.  As a child, I remember  picking out a few of those packed clumps and eating them as my mom was baking.  Who am I kidding,  I still do that! I even did it this morning when I was getting a little brown sugar for my morning oatmeal.  Eating that small clump of brown sugar brought me back to when I was a child and I took a second to enjoy the moment!

    I experimented with oatmeal this morning and ended up making something that resembled pineapple upside down cake oatmeal!  Delicious!
    Pineapple oatmeal ingredients:
    brown sugar
    small chunks of pineapple (add the pineapple after the oatmeal is hot)

    yay for the small things in life!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Any given Wednesday....

    Almost every Wednesday morning I'm out running.  Wednesday morning is usually one of the more interesting and smelly days to run through Cincinnati.  Why? Well, it's trash day in Oakley, Hyde Park, and Mt. Lookout (the usual neighborhoods I pass through on the morning running route).

    It's amazing what is thrown away.  So, what caught my eye this morning and got me thinking about trash was one house in  particular that was throwing away 4 pieces of "as-see-on-TV" exercise equipment.  (2 bikes, 1 gazelle, and 1 that I had no idea what it was called).  Lesson from all of this: Don't buy exercise equipment from infomercials.  

    Although I know every Wed. is trash day, I still go out for a run.  The positive side: the sidewalks become an obstacle course where I  have to dodge trash cans and hop over trash can lids.  It adds a little excitement to the morning.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    New playlist...

    Here are some of the songs from my new running playlist.  It's very Jack Johnson heavy right now since the new CD recently was released.

    1. The office theme song
    -I like to run to theme songs....this one is especially  motivating.
    2. Telephone-Lady Gaga
    3. At or with me-Jack Johnson
    -I love that the new album has several songs with a more upbeat backbeat...it makes me wanna move
    4. Supermassive black hole-Muse
    -I can't help thing of vampires playing baseball when this song comes on, and I giggle a bit.
    5. Pictures of people taking pictures-Jack Johnson
    6. Sexy Chick-David Getta
    7. Nothing on you-B.O.B
    8. Can't be tamed-Miley Cyrus
    -Yes I like some miley cyrus songs...I also like Metrostation.  One day I had the bright idea while running that a whole Cyrus family playlist including Billy Ray would be fun, but later I realized that was a bad idea.
    9. To the sea-Jack Johnson
    10. You and your heart-Jack Johnson

    That's a small sampling of some of my songs on my running playlist.  A new playlist always motivates me a little bit more.  I first listened to the new playlist on Sunday morning, and I was almost singing out loud to a few of my faves.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Weekend recap...

    This weekend was great fun and very enjoyable, but it was  nothing like I thought it would be.  I thought I would have had time to knit on Saturday, but sadly I did not.  I'm determined to do that sometime this coming week.  I was also very emotional and cried while watching very nonemotional TV.....I was a total mess.  On Sunday, I went dress shopping for the first time for wedding dresses...and I think I found the one.  It was fun trying on all the dresses....and it reaffirmed that I really don't like the princess-y puffy dresses or the taffeta ones.  After a very productive dress shopping hour...that's right we tried on a ton of dresses and found the one in under an hour! (gasp).. I was able to spend the rest of the day celebrating the soon-to-be nuptials of a friend and enjoy some good company.

    As always I wish the weekend had just one more day, but it's time to bid farewell to another relaxing weekend that has helped rejuvenate me!

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Rediscover a hobby...

    While cleaning my apartment several weeks ago I came across a tote bag buried deep within my storage closet.  I opened it up to find it filled with balls of yarn and numerous sets of knitting needles/crochet hooks.  I used to love knitting...although my talents were limited to scarves.

    I remember many cold winter days sitting watching lifetime movies, drinking tea, chatting, and knitting with my grandmother.  She had given me all her knitting needles before she passed away in 2004.  I believe she would would want me to actually use her needles that she spent so much time with.....

    So, this weekend I'm going to attempt to start knitting again.  I might even get a book from the library to learn something other than basic knit stitch!

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Mediterranean inspiration...

    Cooking is surprisingly therapeutic for me.  I'm usually hesitant to cook when I get home, since I want food right then!  So, when I cook I've been taking a few short cuts to make it go more quickly.
    -Cut up veggies and pre-prep the night before
    -Marinade meat the night before
    -Have a recipe picked out or plan for dinner that night.
    -Stick with preparing foods that don't take over an hour to make; start to finish.

    Last night I made kabobs that were SOO good.  I marinaded the chicken in one of the garlic/herb lipton seasoning packets overnight, and cut up the veggies (red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes) the night before as well.  All I had to do when I got home was to put the meat and veggies on the skewers and put them on my grilla skillet (a skillet with raised grill lines in it).  To bring more of the Mediterranean inspiration into my dinner I added a bit of hummus and some kalamata olives.  Just for the tastiness I also had some Muenster cheese.  So yummy.

    Maybe cooking has grown on me since it is similar to cooking....every dish I make it a bit of an experiment because I follow a protocol (recipe) and get to troubleshoot and change the conditions to optimize the product.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Remember when...

    Do you remember when you were a kid and getting up early on a Saturday and watching cartoons such as Looney Tunes, Winnie the Pooh, Gummie Bears, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was an event to rejoice over.  I was thinking about how excited and how much I looked forward to those mornings.  Usually my mom would also make us pancakes on those mornings as well which made the whole experience all the more amazing.  (If you know my mom then you know she cooks old fashion style with real butter and fat and it's delicious) 

    While reminiscing I realized there are currently very few things that I get that excited about.  I'm not saying that I don't get excited about life anymore.  There are many things such as getting to see my fiance, vacations, and relaxation days that I still get excited about.  However, I'm losing the joy in the small things.  That's my goal this month... try to enjoy the small things more.  June will be enjoy and get excited about the small things in life!!!

    Running update:
    Did my long run this weekend...again totally too humid and hot....I'm investing in a new fuel belt bottles before my next long run since the bottles from my old one totally taste like plastic.  Hopefully, this will help keep me hydrated and I'll feel better.  This week I got nauseous near the end of the run, which made drinking water even difficult.  So, I think being more prepared for the heat will also help me enjoy the weekly long run as well.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    One flew the coop...

    This video was on sportscenter several weeks ago, so I had to find it and share it. I still laugh every time I watch it. The best part....the guy screaming like a girl and the determined look of the cardinal when they zoom in on his face. He looks totally mad. Also, this particular clip has the random chattering at the end of the fox news anchors which is funny in it's own right. "Does that require a tetanus shot?"

    Well enjoy.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Marathon training update...

    I wanted to update everyone on my training for the Chicago marathon.  I'm still about 18 weeks away from the actual race. But as I had mentioned previously, I'm taking a really long training schedule with a more gradual increase in mileage to try and prevent injury.

    While I was in Amsterdam I was able to run several times. (It was a blast!) But, I didn't get a good long run in.  So, when I got home I did a pseudo-long run and did normal training the rest of the week.  This past weekend I ran 10 miles in the super hot sun in Muncie, IN.  There was super humidity and the temp was near 80F.  I left a water bottle out around mile 8, which I should have used much earlier.  Luckily, Muncie is relatively flat so no Cincinnati hills to make it worse.  I think I got a bit dehydrated and overheated from the run.

    This week has continued to be hot and humid in Cincinnati, and running has been rather challenging.  I feel like I'm drenched when I finish running, and have to take a cold shower before getting ready for work.

    My back has been a little sore this week so I've been doing lots of stretching and using a lot of pain relieving cream.  I tried icing my back, but it feels worse after a lot of icing.  So, I've started using a heating pad on it before stretching, and it seems like it works better although I have no idea why.

    I'm running slowly but surely to Chicago 2010.

    P.S. In my attempt to take care of myself I've been doing one fun thing a week for myself.
    Here's what I'm doing this week:
    -Going to see the Sex and the City 2 movie.  Totally girlie and it will be a nice nonscience, relaxing time with a friend.

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Finally finished the Dark Tower series...

    For nearly the past two years I've been slowly reading through the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  The first book, the Gunslinger, had a more slow progression of a story line, but it left me wanting to know more about Roland and his quest for the dark tower.  In true Stephen King fashion I felt as though I was in the middle of Roland's story, so I needed to keep reading to figure it all out.

    I've heard mixed responses to the end of  the Dark Tower from other readers.  I was satisfied with the ending and I feel like the I can happily leave the series.  Many times at the end of a book series I think about the characters and miss them shortly after I've completed the books.  However, with this series I know the characters are in their proper places, even though the journey to the end was a very emotional one for the reader.

    I'm starting Under the Dome, a whopper of a book.  Hope it's a paper turner.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    What is creativity...

    Are you creative?  Am I creative?  What defines creativity and an artist? Do I need to draw, paint, sing, write, or sculpt well?

    I've been mulling over these questions lately.  So, do I need to have a fine product that I can sell to be qualified as a creative person?  I don't think so...  and here's why...

    Creativity is within everyone one of us. It's how we dress, how we work, and how we live.  Here's an example of creativity in how we work... I'm a scientist and research is a creative endeavor.  You have to approach a novel, significant question and answer it in a way that will examine every possibility.  Most of the time an experiment won't work exactly as you expect and you have to optimize the system and change small things to figure it out.

    On another spectrum is artistic creativity in how we live, such as journaling, drawing, and even blogging.  I keep a personal journal that most of the time has incomplete sentences and random drawings.  I usually will use it to process whatever I'm going through in life and will sometimes use it to vent.

    Anyway, I think everyone is creative in some form or another.  Do something creative today! What did I do today....I'm wearing a fun outfit at work!

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Another food adventure...

    I'm happy to be home in my own apartment after all the traveling, so I decided to make some good food and relax on Monday.  My relaxing included making some food that I've never made before.  

    I decided to try my hand at making my own granola, which was almost a disaster since I got distracted and almost burned it.  This granola is relatively simple: Oats, wheat germ, sliced almonds, crushed macadamia nuts, assorted dried fruit, honey, and a little olive oil.  It's another great recipe out of my better homes and gardens cookbook.  It took only about 35-40 minutes including baking time to make quite a large amount of granola!
    My next adventure was very reminiscent of my childhood.  As a kid we would have pizza night and we would make our own pizza, any way we liked it.  So I wanted to try a grown-up version of this: Organic goat cheese, mushroom, olive pizza.  I didn't make the dough fresh, it came frozen from the organic food section.  Before putting the mushrooms on top I sauteed them briefly in a pan with a little olive oil.  

    Both adventures yesterday were successes!  It was very nice to have my mobile vacuum cleaning up after me as I cooked....Phil-dog also known as Phil-vac was worn out yesterday from boarding/daycare but was able to be up long enough to take care of anything I dropped while cooking.  :)

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Amsterdam adventure...

    This past week I was in Amsterdam (after we had a 5 hour layover in Washington DC due to a mechanical problem with our plane) for a conference and I was able to do a little adventuring and take some fun pics.  I didn't get to do all the typical touristy stuff, but I loved walking around the city and seeing all the history and wonderful architecture.  

    The only pic I could take when I got close to the red light district.  One of the oldest churches in Amsterdam.  It also had beautiful sculptures in front.  

    Of course I had to get a pic with a wooden shoe.

    We went on several canal boat tours and went by this building already for the World Cup sporting the Orange for the Holland soccer team!
    More old detailing on the buildings.

    Nemo science center. It's in the shape of a ship and it's by the shipping museum

    On the right is the Anne Frank house, and on the left is a pic of the sun rise on one of the canals during one of my morning runs.  

    I loved Amsterdam and how everyone was walking or biking to work, and there were very few fast food restaurants.  How can you not love a place that is so enthusiastic about chocolate/hazelnut spread on toast!  

    What a great adventure and I can't wait to go back to Europe and to experience more.  

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    You win some you lose some...

    I've been experimenting with cooking lately.  Not everything has gone exactly as planned.  For instance, I'm totally obsessed with mochi so I thought i could make some.  I got the kind you just cut up and bake from whole foods.....it was an epic failure.  My mochi did not taste anything like the kind you get at trader joe's or yagoot.  I also failed miserably at making iced green tea sweetened with brown rice syrup.  Although there have been many failures there have also been some super yummy successes....
    1. Organic brown rice crispies
    2. Drop biscuits (pictured on the left)
    3. mini Cinn-cran-almond drop biscuits (pictured on right)
    I think I'm the most proud of the biscuits.  I have to admit that I never in a million years thought I could make good biscuits.  I used the recipe out of Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but instead of butter I used smart balance (for 3/4 of the suggested amount) and light sour cream or the rest of the butter amount.  I also used skim milk instead of whole milk or buttermilk.  I was terrified that they would turn out dry and and fall apart as soon as I ate them.  I was pleasantly surprised when they turned out perfect.  Jonah and phil-dog also liked them!  Yay for cooking adventures!  I'm determined to be able to provide good homemade food for myself and my future family.  Luckily, I'm able to get carry out easily for experimental meals that are inedible.

    Marathon training update:
    This week was a bit better than last week, since my cold was mostly gone.  I made it through my long run (10 miles).  I'm also working on running without over striding so that I don't stress my knees and back!  It's an ongoing challenge.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    I can see clearly now the rain is gone...

    It's been rainy for most of the week here in Cincinnati, but today the clouds have broken and it's semi-sunny and super warm.  So around lunch time I trekked down to the street to one of my favorite places in all of Cincinnati....the Cincinnati Zoo.  I think getting a zoo membership was by far one of the best investments I've made.  One of my main motivations for visiting the zoo today is that there is now a baby Aardvark, who's name is Padmae!  I got to the nursery and she was sleeping, which is typical for the
    aardvarks.  Most of the time I'm there they are sleeping.  But she was adorable!

    It was refreshing to spend a short time at the zoo.  There were hundreds of kids there for field trips today and they were running around everywhere, and stations were set up for bird watching since it's bird migratory days.  It was a great pick-me-up for the day!